I just got done reading an interesting article on Inc. about why employees quit their on their bosses. The article looks to connect aspects that drive performance in the best companies to work for which look more like organizational alignment than employee engagement.
With that in mind, how do you get new hires (in the first few years into their career) to be aligned with your organizations mission and vision? I have a somewhat different view.
Many of the questions brought up in the article as critical to have answered well to reduce turnover are poignant. They touch on connection, communication, development, recognition and accountability. Those are key components of organizational alignment. The article then goes into three things to do to ensure a quality new hire experience. I don't have an issue with these on the surface, however, I believe they could be deeper in purpose.
One of the big issues many of us have early in our careers is the lack of proficiency in connecting the 'why' to tasks, strategies, etc. as well as how various components interact and connect to make a whole. We are still set on the short-term aspects of completing a task, following orders, gaining specific tactical skills. We don't focus on the long-term needs and benefits to the organization or the individual by laying foundations of learning how to learn, reason, logic, question and communicate.
You will get a better employee and your employee will become happier and more impactful if you do the following with them as they start in their role:
- Work with your new hire to see the connections between what they do, what others do on the projects they are working on and how it connects with why the organization exists. Help them connect to the why.
- Encourage them to challenge themselves to see different connections on their own. Help them set up their own learning culture within themselves and talk with them about what they are seeing and how it could help move the organization forward.
- Focus on the process of developing mental, character, ethics and observational traits. If you are able to help someone observe differently, reason differently and utilize their character strengths, it won't really matter what task or problem you put in front of them. They will be able to attack it with good results.
- Open them up to the possibility of failure. If a person is encouraged to try new things and are open to learning, they WILL fail. More is learned in failure than in success, many times. Those threads of exploration may lead the organization into wonderful areas of growth and fun.
Let's face it, an organization is not going to crumble if your new hire takes longer than expected to complete tasks on a project. If your project is that critical, should you really be trusting key parts of it to a new hire? If you haven't figured time into the project to account for new hire trial and error, are you managing the project properly?
Set them on a path that will inspire them towards greatness. Light the fire within them to see and act on a different level than just completing a task. You, your organization and the employee will be better for it.